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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  2. Menstrual health management in East and Southern Africa: a review paper

    This review provides an overview of MHM policies and programmes in the ESA region, with a focus on education, school and community-based sexuality education, WASH, sexual and reproductive health, workplace support and humanitarian programming, as well as opening up the discussion regarding marginalized groups of women and girls such as disabled, prisoners and transgender men.

  3. First East and Southern Africa regional symposium: improving menstrual health management for adolescent girls and women

    Menstral health management (MHM) has gained greater attention in recent years. It is now understood as an integrated, cross-sectoral response involving sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and life skills, water, hygiene and sanitation, and waste disposal, both in development and humanitarian contexts. This historic meeting of committed professionals was an important step towards consolidating support for strengthening MHM in the region, particularly since it is implicit in the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals and those within Agenda 2063. …

  4. Integrating sexual and reproductive health in WASH

    For girls and women globally, access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is critical for their sexual and reproductive health and for gender equality. Girls’ inability to manage their menstrual health, compromises their ability to complete their educations and navigate other aspects of their lives. Lack of access to clean water can have significant impacts on women’s and girls’ health, including their reproductive health, and contributes to maternal mortality and morbidity. …

  5. Break the barriers: girls' experiences of menstruation in the UK

    The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. But our latest report, Break the Barriers: Girls’ Experiences of Menstruation in the UK, reveals a culture of stigma and silence have turned periods into a hidden public health issue – putting girls' physical, sexual and mental health at risk. Across the UK and around the world, girls’ stories show that periods have been stigmatised for too long. …

  6. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene management in selected KwaZulu-Natal schools

    The focus of this study was on the impact of menstruation and menstrual hygiene management on girl learners in schools in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Issues related to cultural practices, teachings about menstruation, access to sanitary supplies necessary during menstruation and to sanitation, as well as psychological trauma, particularly at menarche (the time of their first menstruation), were looked at. The study also attempted to capture the feelings and experiences of learners and their knowledge at menarche.

  7. Menstrual hygiene management compliance in primary schools in Uganda: a case of Lira Municipality

    The main objective of the study was to determine the influence of Menstrual Hygiene Management on school absenteeism of adolescent girls in 10 primary schools in Lira municipality. Our findings highlighted that; majority of the respondent’s onset of the menstruation was at 13 years of age, 60% of the participants used disposable pads. Most respondents changed their pads at least twice a day. Two fifth of the primary girls reported missing school for about 3 days during menstrual periods pointing to the lack of menstrual hygiene products. …

  8. Menstrual hygiene management to improve the attendance of primary school-aged girls in Central North, Burkina Faso

    How to improve the conditions for girls to attend school, to reduce failure and drop-out rates of adolescent girls, while ensuring their dignity and protection? This was the consideration that motivated the Kom-Yilma project, implemented by Catholic Relief Services in Burkina Faso and financed by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, to undertake a behavior-change strategy for menstrual-hygiene management in 118 schools in Bam and Sanmatenga Provinces. …

  9. A time for global action: addressing girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  10. An agenda for policy and action to support girls through puberty and menarche

    Puberty and menstruation are a fundamental part of the second decade of girls’ lives. Yet many girls in low and middle-income countries know very little about the physical and emotional changes that are part of growing up. …

  11. A toolkit for integrating menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into humanitarian response

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Emergencies toolkit aims to provide streamlined guidance to support organizations and agencies seeking to rapidly integrate MHM into existing programming across sectors and phases.

  12. The Last Taboo. Research on menstrual hygiene management in the Pacific: Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Final report

    Managing menstruation effectively and with dignity can be challenging for girls and women in low and middle-income countries. Currently there is limited research on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in the Pacific region. This report presents general findings from research funded through the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), including its innovationXchange. It represents collaboration between DFAT’s Pacific Division and DFAT’s innovationXchange following an internal DFAT Ideas Challenge. …

  13. Menstruation as a barrier to education?

    Increasing education for girls is an important policy priority in many developing countries, where secondary school enrollment often remains lower for girls than for boys. Some researchers and policymakers have argued that menstruation may be causing girls to miss a significant number of school days. At the maximum, some have estimated that girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20 percent of school days due to menstruation. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this. Girls report missing school during their periods and lacking access to modern sanitary products. …

  14. WASH in Schools for Girls E-Course: Increasing national capacity to conduct research on menstrual hygiene management in schools

    Menstrual hygiene remains a taboo in many settings, with poor knowledge and misconceptions as great a challenge as access to adequate facilities at both home and in school. In recent years, a solid body of evidence has revealed the discriminatory nature of many school environments, with menstruating girls unable to adequately manage their monthly menses with safety, dignity and privacy. This, in turn, may have negative impacts on girls’ ability to succeed and thrive within the school environment. …

  15. Attention to menstrual hygiene management in schools: An analysis of education policy documents in low- and middle-income countries

    Recent decades have seen a push for gender parity in education in low resource countries. Attention is shifting to how school environments hinder the achievement of gender equality. One effort, primarily led by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, includes a focus on the needs of menstruating girls.

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